I welcome you to the 22nd installment of the Magic Advent Calendar, and we’re going to talk…cards, what else? So, here is some background information on the Card College Playing Cards.
In October 2019 I was invited to visit China by my publisher TCC, who has meanwhile translated and published my 5 Card College books, along with the Light-trilogy, total eight books, all in less than three years! We, that’s Barbara and me, flew via Beijing to Hong Kong, where we were taken to TCC’s headquarters in Shenzhen. From there we embarked on a tour taking us to 9 cities with 26 events (workshops, lectures, masterclasses & shows). That, of course , is another story…and I might tell it in my biography, in case I’ll ever write one… Part of the venture were other ideas for projects: lecture notes, a lavish notebook, playing cards, a card clip, a commemorative coin, a box with my act and all the props to go with it, and more.
Ultimately, only a few saw the light of day, notably the Card College Playing Cards. Some of you will have heard of them, and I know a few have bought various editions on the Kickstarter project earlier this year, or from dealers in the past few weeks, but for completeness sake, here is the trailer that publicized the project. To see the short clip CLICK HERE (or the photo):
All was done with my authorization and to the highest quality standards I could wish for – both TCC and ARC deserve our thanks and appreciation for an outstanding work. They did even surprise me, when they announced some additional Collector Editions not mentioned in the initial trailer: they are on its way to me shortly, and to those who have supported the project via Kickstarter. As far as I know all Collector Editions sold out after a few hours – I have a few sets left, but will keep them for my old-age-piggy-bank (I speculate that if a single Jerry’s Nugget deck nowadays get’s $350 per deck, these, which come as a trilogy and are in my opinion superior in any conceivable way, should get a multiple of it…but don’t take my word for it).
HOWEVER, for all those who would have liked a Collector’s Set, but could not make it, the good news is that the Card College Playing Cards Regular Edition is now out.
Here are a few of my comments, which have not been advertised:
- Limited First Edition (see below), which will soon be sold out (I’m told).
- The cards come in two beautiful colors: burgundy red & royal blue.
- They are printed by USPCC on their Casino Premium Stock, the best currently available.
- They are cut top-down, i.e. you can faro them as taught in Chapter 35 “The Faro Shuffle” in Card College Volume 3. They are NOT cut bottom-up. The latter are called “Traditionally Cut”, and are good for tabled faros and hand-faros done from bottom up. But which insane performer will risk screwing his show up by doing a tabled faro at a payed show? There are only a handful in the world who can do that. The rest of us will want to play it safe. The Card College Playing Cards, being cut top-down, will allow for risk-free hand-faros, especially in view of two facts: first, most Faro applications are Partial Faros, second, if a mistake occurs, it will be at the end and not at the beginning of the Faro, but most uses are to get the top section right, not the bottom. Therefore, for the vast majority of applications in magic a top-down Faro is superior to the bottom-up Faro.
- The quality is such, that you can use them “out-of-the-box”.
- The Ace of Spades has my logo, which is found on some of the Card College editions (English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, but not on the German, Italian, French and Spanish); I’m very happy with its design, and everyone I spoke to liked it, too.
- The 2 Jokers are a conversion of a photo of mine into a line drawing and might be one of the two things I’d like to change if there will be a second printing. The “Guarantee Joker” has a humorous text, which you can use for several tricks (e.g. “Guaranteed!” or “The Fine Print”, both from Confidences, or “Card Call” from Stand-up Card Magic).
- There are 9 (nine!) surfaces that can be designed on a card case:
- On the two sides (1 & 2) are two great motivational and poetic quotes (one by Hofzinser, the other by Socrates). Plus, as a wine aficionado, I have insisted on giving the cards a vintage year: So, next to the quotes, you’ll find “2019” on one side (the year the cards were printed) , and “1st” on the other side (meaning 1st edition). That’s the degree of sophistication I like 🙂
- One side-tab (3) carries the years the Card College books originally appeared in German (1992, 1994 & 2003), the other tab (4) shows my birthday (1st May 1959), so from now on you can send me birthday greetings and gifts 🙂
- The flap (5) has a short but informative text on me, the Card College books and TCC as the publishers of the books and cards.
- The bottom of the case (6) has my logo and that of TCC, the copyright note, AND hidden in the open, so to speak, the formula for the Haymow Shuffle, which is at the basis of several excellent card tricks, with “Dai Vernon’s Poker Demonstration” being top-of-the-list (you’ll find it in Ganson’s Dai Vernon Book of Magic, or on my DVD Dai Vernon Seminar both in the video and in the enclosed PDF). Or see my column “The Genii Session” in Genii of August 2007 called “The Horowitz Poker Deal”. If you are a subscriber to Genii, and you should, you have access to all their older issues, and my 14 years (!) of columns, of course 🙂
- The face of the case (7) reflects the dustcover design of the American edition of Card College and pays tribute to the many years I’ve been working with Stephen Minch and his Hermetic Press, recently acquired by Acar Altinsel and his Penguin Magic.
- The back of the case is a brilliant nod in the direction of Barbara’s drawings in the books, which were done before today’s sophisticated drawing softwares were available to mere mortals as we were when we embarked on the Card College Odyssey: the hatched back reflects the hatched backs of the cards in the book’s illustrations (yes, check it out).
- Finally, the 9th surface is the top of the case and reads “R. Giobbi’s Card College Playing Cards”. With this you can perform the trick “Tally-Ho” as described in my book Confidences: simply place a Joker instead of a “Six” at the 3rd position from the face, and then substitute “A. Dougherty” (10 cards) with “R.Giobbi’s” including the full stop and the apostrophe in the count (totals 10), Tally-Ho” (7 cards) with “College” (also 7), “Playing” and “Cards” are the same. When you turn up the Joker, spell “Joker”, and you get to the last Ace. It’s a trick that is lengthy to read, but that everyone who has seen wants to do. It’s an old Henry Christ plot, with a super-touch by Richard Vollmer, and my presentational and handling details.
- It’s still not all: the cards have a very subtly one-way design, which n-o-b-o-d-y will see at first sight, but once you know it, you will immediately and clearly see it, even in a hand- or table-spread. They did not tell me when they designed it, and I was a bit taken aback at first, but then found it a very good idea, and now I’m quite happy with it – the design is truly excellent.
- Oh, and there are two trick cards, double-backers that come with it, too, but I’ll stop here before losing everyone…
You can get the cards from most dealers worldwide (at ca. $ 10-12 per deck), BUT since we’re on the Magic Advent Calendar, and its gift-time, here is a little offer: if you want two decks, one red, one blue, with my signature on the cellophane which you can still open to use the cards, plus a photo of mine dedicated to your name, I will ship them directly to you. Due to the various shipping rates, there are 3 options and prices:
- Switzerland & Germany: EURO 19.00
- European Community: EURO 22.00
- Rest of the World: EURO 28.00
The prices are all inclusive (2 decks, autographed photo, shipping and PayPal-fee) but are only for 2 decks, which fit in weight and thickness. To order send me an email with your shipping address (!) at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you a PayPal link.
If you want more decks, or even a brick (12 decks), please buy from your dealer, or send me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll send you a quote.